By Icy Snow Blackstone
Interview with Icy Snow Blackstone:
Icy Snow: Here’s what the promotions manager at Class Act Books thought up:
Icy Snow Blackstone was born in 1802, in northern Georgia where her father, the Reverend John Blackstone, was prominent in local politics. She married a minister, raised seven children, and lived there all her life.
Two hundred and five years later, her great-great-great-great-granddaughter began using her name as a pseudonym for her romance novels. The present Icy Snow Blackstone lives far from her Southern roots in Lancaster County, Nebraska, where she continues to write romances.
As of 2017, Icy Snow has eleven novels published by Class Act Books. Her contemporary romance, Tuesday’s Child, was given the Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewers Choice award for Best Contemporary Novel of 2014. A SciFi romance, Earthman’s Bride and Vietnam-era romance Jericho Road, have also received awards.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
Icy Snow: Just see below for a blurb and an excerpt of Runaway Brother.
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for your latest release?
Icy Snow: There was an old movie on TVB, Sullivan’s Travels, about a millionaire who goes on a road trip to see how the “other half” lives. It was during the depression and he got his eyes opened and fell in love, too. I decided to update it a bit and have him be runaway from family responsibilities and traveling through the South, to dispel a few clichés about that section of the country.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
Icy Snow: Currently, I’m taking a little vacation from writing to concentrate on doing publicity for the novels I’ve already written.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
Icy Snow: Not really. I usually write from 1 to 4 in the afternoon, reserving mornings for errands and evenings for a little entertainment such as going to a movie, reading a book, or watching TV.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
Icy Snow: For Runaway Brother, I did a great deal of research on horse shows, especially showing Arabian horses, and that included the costume the rider usually wears. I also did a lot of search on the history of the Arabian.
I found there are some legends about how the mares becoming the mothers of the Arabian breed were chosen. The most interesting one is: The Prophet penned together one hundred mares, he kept them without water and then freed them. All ran to drink and then he blew his war bugle. Only five had stopped and returned to him, and those were the chosen ones.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
Icy Snow: I like Norah Roberts and Irish Johansen. Good plots with romance and adventure, and good characters.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
Icy Snow: I’ve never written a political thriller. I don’t think I’d have the finesse to pull it off.
Crystal: Thanks for visiting. It has been a pleasure having you visit today. Can you think of anything else you would like to share with us today?
Icy Snow: I appreciate the opportunity to be here. Here’s that excerpt I promised:
The track was getting narrower, barely two ruts now with a width of slender, wiry grass separating them. He slowed the bike. Don’t want to get that stuff caught in the spokes and stall the engine.
Nick raised his head, looking around, then gave a loud sigh of exasperation. Okay! So I’m lost! He’d just follow the road to wherever it went, probably to some farmer’s front yard. When he got there, he’d apologize, turn around and get himself back to the main drag. If he could find it.
A broken branch loomed ahead, and he turned his attention to it, guiding the bike around it.
A second branch and several twigs littered the roadway. Nick was so concerned with maneuvering around them he didn’t see the horse sail over the fence, wasn’t even aware it was there until he looked up and found the white shape almost directly in front of him.
He jerked the wheel to the right, forgetting to apply the rear brakes first. The bike skidded, its back wheel rising off the ground as the front one stopped rolling. He had a brief vision of the animal leaping forward, its rider clinging to its back, wide, frightened blue eyes, flying blonde hair...
The motorcycle went off the road, sliding into the ditch and running up the other side, the front fender striking one of the fence posts. It bounced and rebounded, and Nick went flying over the handlebars, flipping in mid-air and hitting the same post with his back. The bike wavered a moment, then toppled onto its side. Nick slid down the post, landing upside down in the ditch, his shoulders crushing coffeeweed into an aromatic mass.
The pounding hooves stopped. He heard running footsteps, opened his eyes and saw someone running toward him. He closed them again.
“Are you hurt?”
This time when he opened his eyes, he was staring at the upside-down face of a very pretty girl, at least she’d have been pretty if her face wasn’t screwed up into such a dismayed scowl.
“Am I hurt?” He managed a growl as he slid further into the weeds and rolled over. “I just hit a fence and got tossed into a ditch! What do you think?” Clambering to his knees, while she plucked ineffectually at one arm, he jerked out of her grasp. “I can get up by my— Ow!”
He’d gotten upright, took a step, and his leg buckled, turning at the ankle “Here.” She slid into the ditch, offering a hand. Reluctantly he took it, being careful not to put too much weight behind it as he let her pull him to his feet. He could see she was worried and he really wasn’t hurt all that bad, but he was angry because she’d been so reckless.
“What the Hell’s the matter with you? Jumping in front of me like that! If I’d hit that horse—”
“What are you doing riding this road? This is private property.”
She was too pretty for him to pretend to stay angry at, so he toned it down, answering her question. “I got lost. I only wanted to find the end of the road and turn around.”
“You have a way to go. The house is about a quarter of a mile that way.” She nodded toward a group of pines thrust into the road, hiding the rest of it from sight. Nick looked in that direction, then back at her. She, in turn, looked at the motorcycle, still on its side in the weeds. “You seem okay. Is that hurt?”
Nick got down on one knee, feeling under the bike. His hand came away wet. He sniffed at his fingers.
Gasoline. He pulled off one glove, exploring gingerly. Something had punched a hole in the gas tank and gasoline was pouring into the grass. He had no idea how, but it didn’t matter. What did was that he wasn’t going anywhere as long as that hole was there.
“Well?” She appeared to be awaiting his diagnosis.
He wiped his fingers on the seat of his jeans. “Gas tank’s got a hole in it, clutch cable’s severed. Is there a motorcycle shop around here anywhere?”
“No, but Marshall’s in town can probably repair it. He does everything from lawn mowers to farm machinery.”
Oh Lord, deliver me from small town handymen! He was about to tell her he didn’t want Marshall touching his bike when he realized, What else am I going to do? Do you have a better idea, Mr. Runaway?
“So which way is town?” He straightened, looked around as if expecting to see the city limits a few feet away.
“Too far for you to push that thing,” she answered, gesturing at the front wheel. “Not with it twisted like that.”
“What do I do then, Miss Not-So-Helpful? Since this is your fault—”
“My fault?” Hands went to her hips. And deliciously slim ones they were, too. Nick had a moment to think she looked anything but angry, though it was apparent she thought she did. Cute, maybe. Hell, he might even say adorable with those blonde wisps floating around her face, but angry? Nope! “Who’s the trespasser? Who had his head down, studying the ground when he should’ve been looking straight ahead?”
“You weren’t ahead of me,” he countered. “You and that white tank of yours jumped a fence and came in from the side.”
“Never mind. Just let me get the bike upright and point me in the right direction, and—”
“I’ll do no such thing.” That made him stare at her, wondering if she was going to walk away, mount her white steed, and leave him stranded knee-deep in Kudzu or whatever-the-Hell these weeds were. “I’ll ride back to the house and get my grandpa’s truck. We”ll put the motorcycle in it.”
She clambered up the bank, running toward the horse now was grazing on the other side of the road. Catching the reins and a handful of mane, she swung into the horse’s back—very gracefully, he noted—then turned the animal’s head and trotted it back to him.
“You stay right there,” she told him. “I’ll be back in a jif!” She kicked the horse in the ribs and sent it galloping down the road.
Nick turned his attention back to the V-Rod. It hadn’t moved. Did he expect it to get up and limp over to him like a dog with a hurt paw, whimpering for sympathy? Shaking his head, he leaned against the edge of the ditch, back against a fencepost.
Welcome South, Brother!
Blurb for Runaway Brother:
At the age of twenty-two, newly-graduated Nicolo Liguori is forced by his three brothers to become care-giver for his father, who suffered multiple strokes. For the next ten years, Nick gives up his own ambitions , working during the day in the family jewelry business in Vanderhoek, New York, and returning to the Liguori mansion every night, to be at his father’s beck-and-call. Then Papa dies and Nick is free…or is he? Carlo, Marco, and Pietro expect him to continue life as usual, but Nick has other ideas. Secretly buying a motorcycle, he starts to work one day and… disappears.
Nick gets as far as the southern coast of Georgia before an accident disables his bike. Stranded, with no idea of the South except what he’s seen on TV, Nick isn’t certain what kind of reception he’s going to get. Then, a pretty Southern miss and a white tank disguised as a temperamental horse named Shazam change his life as they and the citizens of Oceano teach a runaway Yankee about life and love in a small Georgia town.
Paperback from the publisher’s website: http://www.classactbooks.com/index.php/component/virtuemart/cat-contemporary/runaway-brother-342013-04-29-03-29-06-detail?Itemid=0
e-Books/Kindle from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2jTNdj1